eReaders can Bridge the Technology-​Caused Gap Between Parents and Children

BY Rachel Cagle
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National polling released today by the American Speech-​Language-​Hearing Association (ASHA) and Read Aloud 15 MINUTES shows that significant percentages of parents report their children's popular technology use is routinely taking time away from reading and conversing, activities basic to fostering brain and communication development.

According to AudienceSCAN, more than 8% of U.S. adults make up Touchscreen Tablet Shoppers. Of these shoppers, 32.4% have children under the age of 10.

More than one third (34%) of parents polled said popular tech devices take away reading time for their child. Twenty-​six percent of parents of children ages 0–2 said this is the case; the figures increase to 37% and 40% among parents with children ages 3–5 and 6–8, respectively.

Additionally, 43% of parents said popular technology devices are a barrier/​distraction to conversation and interaction between themselves and their children. More than half (54%) said they "sometimes," "often," or "very often" ask their children to put down their devices in order to increase parent/​child interaction. Among parents of children ages 0–2, 37% reported this to be the case, with boys more likely to be asked. The proportions jumped to 58% and 67% among parents with children ages 3–5 and 6–8, respectively.

But children aren't the only tech enthusiasts: 41% of parents said their children sometimes (or more often) ask them to put down their devices and interact with them. About half of parents report that device use takes away from their own personal reading time.

The critical nature of daily reading and conversation also extends beyond the baby and toddler years, an area of increasing urgency to Read Aloud 15 MINUTES.

"An area of alarm for us is the documented decrease in daily reading aloud among children ages 6–8 in the United States," said Read Aloud President and Co-​Founder Dr. Candace Kendle. "This drop corresponds with our new poll showing an increase in usage of almost every type of mobile device among 6–8 year olds, as compared to the younger age set."

Luckily, not all devices are just barriers between children and their parents. According to AudienceSCAN, 18.8% of Touchscreen Tablet Shoppers use e‑readers in their personal time and another 32.5% have enjoyed reading fiction books within the past year and plan to continue to do so this year. Another 10.6% of this audience that don't have e‑readers plan to purchase one within the next 12 months. Spending more time with the family is a personal goal for 30.6% of this audience as well. Combine all of those statistics and e‑reader retailers can easily advertise their wares as technology that can bring families together to read.

"We must ensure device time is not replacing time for reading aloud with these children, who are approaching or are at a pivotal point in their academic careers, when grade-​level reading is required to advance beyond 3rd grade and high-​stakes testing is occurring."

Touchscreen Tablet Shoppers can be influenced to buy e‑readers for themselves and their kids through TV advertising, according to AudienceSCAN. Last year, 73.2% of this audience took action after seeing a TV commercial. Another 67% was motivated to action because of ads and/​or coupons they received in the mail. Social networks are also good places for ads since 64.2% of Touchscreen Tablet Shoppers took action after seeing social media ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.